THE semi-final draw for the Scarborough & District F.A. Cup competitions has produced a number of mouth-watering ties.
In the semi-finals of the FA District Cup, to be played on Saturday February 25, first division high-flyers West Pier entertain division two promotion favourites Whitby Fishermen in what should be a fascinating encounter.
Ayton, who have reached a cup final in each of the last six seasons, travel to first division rivals Filey Town.
Town boss Dave Brannan expects that his side will face a tough test.
He said: “Ayton are a good side, they played very well when we met in the league earlier in the season.
“You have to respect anyone that makes it as far as the semi-finals, if you don’t play well on the day you can get turned over.
“I think we are probably the favourites, but like I say Ayton are a decent team and we will have to be on our guard.”
Filey are also in the semi-finals of the Harbour Cup where they have been drawn at home to Newlands.
Brannan, who was delighted to have home advantage, added: “You always want a home draw, especially when you are playing one of the big sides.
“Being at home will help us, there will no doubt be a good turnout of supporters to back us and I think that generally we play better at home.
“Anything could happen to be honest, there will probably only be one goal in it.
“We have played Newlands a few times this season already and they have all been close games.
“If we have everyone fit and available for the tie then I think we have got a good chance.”
In the other Harbour Cup semi-final tie, Ayton have another opportunity to make 2012 the seventh consecutive year that they have reached a cup final when they take on Eastfield St James.
The Harbour Cup ties will be played on Saturday March 17.
The following day, Sunday March 18, the semi-finals of the FA Sunday Cup are due to take place.
First-division powerhouses Trafalgar and Newlands clash, while third division Commercial will be looking to cause an upset when they take on top-flight Star.
Commercial boss Geoff Osguthorpe is looking forward to the challenge.
He said: “We are a middle of the road third division team and we will be taking on one of the best sides in division one, so we certainly won’t be favourites.
“However, we have actually beaten a few higher division teams in the cup already this season.
“If we are at our best and get a bit of luck on the day then you never know what can happen.
“It would be a great achievement for this club to get to the final of this competition.”
There are no Scarborough-based Saturday League sides left in the Junior Cup, although reigning Beckett League champions Kirkbymoorside Reserves are still involved.
They have been drawn away to Lingdale United, with Loftus v Lealholm completing the semi-final line-up.
Ties will be played on March 10.